As I begin to type my eyes are still a little foggy from a long night at our 2013 Discover Lehigh Valley Annual Meeting. We spend so much time planning the event and in a New York minute it’s over. It truly is worth all the hard work that our staff and I put into the event. I personally love having the opportunity to celebrate our partners, all the great things they offer, and the luxury we have in promoting them.

The State Theatre Center of The Arts was a beautiful venue for the 150 attendees and it was a great opportunity to get back to Easton and experience their resurgence; Northampton Street never looked better.

The food was prepared by Sagra Bistro and owner, Robyn Cavallaro and her staff did a great job. But let’s be real, everyone was there to hear the Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible” host, Anthony Melchiorri speak, and did he ever. I had the luxury of some downtime with Anthony prior to him taking the stage, and I can truly say he is just an ordinary guy. He praised the area, the friendliness of the people he came in contact with, and his love of the arts, and eagerly wants to come and see the FREDDY® Awards.

As he took the stage to thunderous applause, he discussed how he got his start, why he is so passionate about hospitality and tourism, and how hotels, restaurants, attractions, and any business can implement simple strategies to make the guest experience so much more memorable. He really echoed the fact that the guest is the most important piece to the proverbial puzzle, and how companies lose sight of that.

Take time to great guests, go the extra mile to cater to their every need, make them feel as though they are all that matters, and you will be amazed how your business will succeed.

With that being said let me take one last opportunity to thank those leaving our Board of Directors including Steve Carletti, Cindy Feinberg, Jeffrey Focht, Juan Martinez, Jason McClure, Stu Schooley, our out-going Chairman of the Board, Dennis Costello, and Jim Harper. Jim has dedicated 30 years to our organization. Thanks so much for the continued support and guidance over the years everyone.

I hope you had as good a time as we did. For those that missed the event, we look forward to seeing you in 2014.